UN Deputy Secretary General Declares Women's Role Essential to Reaching Development Goals
The United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro announced in a speech that efforts to reach the UN's Millennium Development Goals must focus on empowering women. Deputy Secretary General Migiro spoke in New York on Tuesday to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York about leadership training and development for women and girls.
The eight Millennium Development Goals are goals set by the UN to aid the world�s most disadvantaged people, who are disproportionately women and children, by 2015. They include ending extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development.
In her speech, the Deputy Secretary General outlined key areas where countries should step up their efforts to attain these goals by empowering women. She urges governments to promote affirmative action, to protect women's human rights, to train women in leadership, and to end violence against women.
The UN has been focusing its efforts of empowering women. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has launched a program to end violence against women. Deputy Secretary General Migiro also voiced support for a centralized women's agency in the UN. She said, "In all these efforts to empower women, the United Nations must be at the forefront."
Media Resources: UN News Centre 03/12/08; Deputy Secretary General's Speech 03/11/08; UN Millennium Development Goals; Feminist Newswire 03/04/08, 03/06/08
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .